Rural women society carrying out silent revolution in development
Published: 03:18 PM, 3 December 2020
A large number of women in our country are engaged in self-employment. It is increasing day by day. In particular, women are directly involved in agricultural production, cow rearing, fish farming, poultry rearing, vegetable gardening, pottery, tree planting around homes and bamboo and cane-based products. About 34 percent of the workers in small and cottage industries are women. In urban labor-intensive industries, especially in the garment sector, 80 percent of the work is done by women. A significant number of women are currently involved in sewing, design, batik, boutique and embroidery.
Women are also involved in various levels of government administration and policy-making, including shopping malls, reception desks, advertising agencies, teaching, arts and research institutions. So it goes without saying - “women’s participation in economic activities is increasing rapidly”.
Such an example is — Jobeda, wife of rickshaw puller Kawsar Uddin of Barabil village in Shahjadpur Upazila of Sirajganj. The family lived on the income of her husband by rickshaw pulling in the area. If he drives rickshaw one day, he has to rest for two days due to illness. This is how her family of 5 people with three children was going on.
In such a situation, Jobeda got acquainted with an employee of a local private company. The staff of the private company advised her to take a loan in installments from the organization to rear goats and poultry and helped Jobeda to get a loan.
Initially, she bought 5 goats and 10 chickens with a loan of Tk 15,000 and started rearing them in her backyard. Jobeda repaid the loan by selling baby goats and chicken eggs. As the transaction was good, she again took a loan of Tk 50,000 from that organization and bought two cows and five more goats. Jobeda’s family began to improve by selling cow’s milk and eggs.
Jobeda set up a small farm next to her house in 2010 with an agricultural loan of Tk 1 lakh from a government bank. Currently, her farm has 7 cows and 20 goats and 100 chickens. Her sons and daughters are currently studying and cooperate in their mother’s work. Her husband delivers milk to Baghabari Milk Vita by van every morning. Now there is no shortage in their family.
The story of Jobeda moving forward is not any separate incident. Rural women’s society is carrying out a silent revolution in the country’s development.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken various steps to involve women living below the poverty line and in socially marginalized areas, especially in haor and char areas, in productive work and economic mainstream. As a result, women are becoming enthusiastic about income by exploiting economic opportunities. Participation in economic activities and equal rights to resources are being encouraged.
All classes, especially the poor, are being brought under social security. Government expenditure has been increased to make basic, social, educational and medical services easily accessible to the general people. Rural poor farmers can open a bank account with just Tk 10. Disadvantaged women in rural areas are now becoming entrepreneurs themselves through financial loans from government banks.
There is no alternative to women’s empowerment to build a poverty-free society and ensure sustainable development. Women in our country are still lagging behind in meeting basic and humanitarian needs. Although women’s rights development is explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, some adversities and negative attitudes stand in the way. Therefore, women in Bangladesh still have a long way to go to achieve their due rights.